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west chester best bets?

  • k

What are the best places around west chester for a nice meal? Ethnic, reasonable price, BOYB, casual, etc. Also, anyone eaten at Mediteranian recently?

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  1. Not casual or ethinic but byob and reasonable price for the quality of the food, service and atmosphere: Gilmore's, hands down.

    1. We go to the Mediteranian pretty frequently for falafel and are always satisfied. LaTolteca is my favorite Mexican - I don't know if it's byob.

        1. re: idia

          Agreed....Gilmore's stands out. French, romantic, a bit pricey...but usually worthwhile. Other than that....Spence Cafe has great seafood, but most people get turned off by the somewhat bohemian scene...shame really. Too many raised noses in West Chester these days (I'm a native as well so don't crucify me for that one). I've heard nothing but bad news coming out of Pietro's Prime (new steakhouse in town). Butterfish is somewhat new...haven't heard much, but I'm familiar with the chef's past and he's totally on the ball.

        2. Wave Noodle if you are craving chinese. La Tolteca is decent Mexican but some people may prefer Senoras. Star of India has alright food but I hear that some prefer the small place in the Gay Street Plaza (haven't been myself). I have to throw in a rec for High Street Cafe's cajun/creole, good wild game and the standards if that's your bag.

          Agree with the other poster's comments on Gilmore's and Spence. I went to Spence recently and for what I paid I was unfortunately unimpressed.

          1. Agreed on the Marshalton Inn; I just had a nice dinner there about two weeks ago. If you have any food allergies, though, be sure to ask them to _completely_ describe the dishes, which are only sketchily addressed on their menu. For Mexican, La Tolteca is much better than Senora's. Wave Noodle is casual to the point of grungy, but they have terrific curries. I had brunch at Butterfish a few months ago, and found it a very pleasant experience; they're worth checking out for lunch or dinner, but I wouldn't call them ethnic. Surprised no one's mentioned Crawdaddy's on Route 3 -- it's Cajun style cuisine, casual (it's mainly a bar with a room or two dedicated to the restaurant), and cheaper than many of the other Cajun/New Orleans choices in the area. If you like that sort of food, another good place -- and less dark and 'bar-like' -- is the Magnolia Cafe, which is the restaurant inside of the Chester County Book Company. It's great for weekend breakfasts, and even though the catfish po'boy isn't on the menu, they'll make it if you ask.

            We used to love The Mediterranean, but the last two times (which were about a year ago), we had disappointing/troubling experiences. Like, both of us having digestive disorders in the night after a dinner there. We haven't been back since, which is a darned shame, because we used to _really_ like that place.

            1. Contrary to what another poster "heard" about Pietro's Prime, I ate there just after it opened and was very pleasantly surprised by the quality of the steaks. It is a great alternative for when I don't feel like driving into Center City to eat at Cap Grille or Barclay Prime. As for "ethnic", go to Teca for Italian and their expansive wine selection. Avoid Spence Cafe, really average and not worth the money.
              Should you wish to expand the territory a little, The Blue Pear, next to the Dilworthtown Inn is excellent. Best French Onion soup I've had in a long time. Not really ethnic but good nevertheless. As for Mexican best place I can think of around these parts is Red Sombrero in the Dilworthtown Crossing Shopping Center.
              As for Mediterranean, had their falafel at the Restaurant festival a couple months back. It was good, I wouldn't mind going there for dinner. If you are looking for a good byob, go to Savona Bistro in Unionville.
              Finally, how in the hell did everybody miss Kooma for ethnic????? Not that I've eaten there but I hear it is very good. I've been to Teikoku several times. Their sushi is always very fresh (although it has gotten rather pricey lately) and their Pad Thai can't be beat.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Rondo

                "heard".....how cute. By that I meant I spoke with four friends who ate there two weeks ago. I agree with the Blue Pear....good stuff. As for Kooma....somebody help me. I went there when it was somewhat new, and had a horrible meal. Since then, I've "heard" nothing but great things about the place. While most of the issues that night can be explained away....are they still using Krab???

                1. re: Major504

                  I was there not too long ago and enjoyed it. The sushi is good and the prices are fair but I cannot speak for any of the entrees. I think I had read a poster in another thread say that the rolls used the same "krab" as the sticks, which would be a shame.

                2. re: Rondo

                  I read in this week's Kennett Paper that Sovana Bistro has applied for a liquor license. I guess their BYO days are numbered.

                  1. re: CindyJ

                    they are putting in a bar by knocking out a wall but will still have byob for those who want to bring their own wine. think this is good option and the place is always great!

                    1. re: kim13

                      Really? I thought I also read that they're not going to have a bar area. I was thinking that the counter with bar stools they have in the waiting area would serve as a bar. And how great to let people continue to bring their own wine. I wonder if they'll increase their $5 corkage fee.

                3. Don't overlook Fiorello's on the east side of town. GREAT brick oven pizzas and their entrees are excellent as well. The place isn't usually crowded at night, and they have a decent little wine list. One of my favorite "secret" haunts.

                  1. There's a small Italian BYO on Walnut St. in WC called Limoncello. Decent food. A little loud. But overall, a good place for a fairly good BYO meal.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: CindyJ

                      Blue Pear is quite good. I was surprised by how harshly Philadelphia Magazine rated them in the January 2008 edition. Creative food, upscale appeal with country appeal and solid on the wallet.